The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which is responsible for staging the world's leading tennis tournament, is a private club founded in 1868 originally as The All England Croquet Club, and its first ground was situated off Worple Road, Wimbledon.
The first meeting of The Lawn Tennis Championships in 1877 enjoyed a garden party atmosphere, and attracted a few hundred spectators. Situated since 1922 at Church Road, The Championships is the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on grass. As a highly professional tournament, it attracts an attendance of nearly 500,000 people and through press, radio and television a following of hundreds of millions throughout the world.
The Club grounds consist of 19 grass courts (including the Centre Court and No.1 Court), five red shale courts, three Continental clay courts and one American Clay court and five indoor courts, two Supreme, two Greenset Velevelux and one Greenset Trophy. As part of the Club's Long Term Plan of moving courts south of the Centre Court, No. 12 Court has been demolished. No. 11 Court has been reconstructed and will be in use during the 2003 Championships. Also, an experimental SoftB hard court has been laid down. In Aorangi Park, there are 14 grass courts for practice before and during The Championships and two green acrylic courts. The total area, including the Club's car parks, covers over 42 acres.